eHam Forums => Misc => Topic started by: BPONG on February 22, 2010, 07:48:25 AM

Title: generators; inverter and no inverter ....
Post by: BPONG on February 22, 2010, 07:48:25 AM
i see at a store in my town, that they have a sale
on 1K generators:
its a very cheap price.
there is no mention of whether they are equipped to produce clean power using an inverter.
the actual website of the manufacturer is:

is this generator just as good as an inverter-equipped generator from honda, yamaha, etc,... ???
if there are any differences, i do not know enough about generator technology to make that observation.

any comments would be greatly appreciated.


Title: RE: generators; inverter and no inverter ....
Post by: NA3CW on February 22, 2010, 05:44:50 PM
This generator does not have an inverter.  That said, an inverter is not necessarily going to have "cleaner" power.  A "pure sine-wave" inverter with low harmonic content will be "clean".  Most inverters use "modified sine wave" which is more like modified square waves.  Pure sine wave inverters are generally larger, more complex, and considerably more expensive than the run-of-the-mill modified sine inverters.

The alternator (the "generator" part) will usually put out a pretty decent waveform on its own.  I spent nearly 10 years in "Typhoon Alley" on Guam and have many hundreds of hours of generator time in my experience.  About the only thing that will complain about gen set's waveform might be an inexpensive fan with a shaded pole motor.  They'll run a bit slow if the waveform isn't the best.  I've run refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, ham gear, computer gear, lights, power tools, and most everything else (not all at once!) on the generator. When you read that the generator is rated for 1000 watts, don't think you can dump a 1000 watt load on it for the long term.  They're usually rated for "peak" power needed to get something like a motor moving.  Think 700 watts and all will be well.

The main advantage of generators with integrated inverters is to allow the generator to run only as fast as needed to produce the power required by the load.  Ordinarily, the gen set has to spin at 3600 rpm constantly in order to maintain proper voltage and frequency.  If you have a light load, like a fan and a couple of lights, you'll burn a lot of unnecessary fuel just to maintain speed and voltage since little of the energy is needed for the electrical load.  With an inverter, the gen set just needs to keep enough power going to the inverter to keep it supplied.  The inverter handles the voltage and frequency regulation.  So if you have a light load, the engine can slow down and burn less fuel.  If the load picks up, the inverter will require more input power and the gen set will throttle up.  As mentioned earlier, the output waveform of the inverter may, or may not be, all that clean, depending on the design (and price) of the inverter.

I hope this helps a bit.

Title: RE: generators; inverter and no inverter ....
Post by: KE4DRN on February 22, 2010, 08:29:55 PM

take a look at this article

on advantage of the newer inverter type gensets is the
weight reduction, lower fuel consumption and noise levels
compared to the traditional gensets.

73 james

Title: RE: generators; inverter and no inverter ....
Post by: BPONG on February 23, 2010, 10:19:08 AM
thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience and thoughts about the posting.

Title: RE: generators; inverter and no inverter ....
Post by: K6SDW on February 26, 2010, 07:32:51 PM
We do a lot of RV camping, some of it "dry" camping and use a generator for AC power when the solar panel 12volts isn't enough.....the generator you found is called in the RV world a "Contractor's" special, really designed to supply AC for electric hand tools such as saws, drills, that said, they aren't too concerned with purity of output as they are in raw power -- most saws run on almost anything AC.

You'll also find these generators to be really noisy and not welcome at camp grounds, especially rural tent and hiking camping.

Most RV-campers end up buying a generator such as the Honda EU1000 or EU2000 which are the inverter variety and very very quiet when running. They are, however, quite a bit more expensive!! The Honda Eu2000 (2000 watt output, more or less) sells for around $800 and up depending where ya buy one.


Title: RE: generators; inverter and no inverter ....
Post by: K3AN on March 16, 2010, 08:01:37 AM
Cheap generators invariably have 2-stroke engines. So compared to a Honda inverter generator, they're noisier and smellier. They are also somewhat heavier. But they are a LOT cheaper.

I have a cheapie that I bought from Northern Tool for about $130. It powered our Field Day operation last year and will do so again this year. Downwind, and at the far end of a 50-foot heavy duty extension cord, the noise and smell were not a problem at all. In fact, we had to plug in a small reading lamp to warn us when the generator ran out of gas, as we operated with a charger and deep-cycle battery that kept us going even when the generator stopped.

BTW, there was no detectable RF noise from the generator.

Title: RE: generators; inverter and no inverter ....
Post by: AA4PB on March 16, 2010, 02:43:46 PM
The primary benefit of the inverter type generator is NOT that it has clean power. The ones I've seen (Honda and Yamaha) do produce clean power because they use a true sine wave inverter.

The main benefits are an accurate, stable 60Hz. The generator does not have to run at a constant speed to do that so it can slow down when the load is reduced, saving on fuel and noise. They are also much lighter.